Went shopping today for a new lawn tractor. Stopped first at the big box
stores and Sears. Funny how all their offerings really looked the same -
just MTD's with different labels.
An independent dealer tried to convince me that Husqvarna's are a quality
product. If so, does it offset the 50% + premium over say Craftsman?
My lot is 1/2 acre so I don't need a major commercial level machine.
Just prefer not to wind up with junk.
It will probably last 50% longer and run 50% better. Compare features and
engines. Have the salesman point out the differences. If he is at all
competent, he should be able to give specifics of why one is better.
Material, drive design, etc.
The new JD mowers are not made by JD and are crappy with one of the
highest complaint records of any mower on the market. However the
agricultural products are made by JD and still have a pretty good rep.
Not entirely true, the LA series or Depot Deere is made back east, &
is as much a piece of crap as the others it sells beside. The X and LX
series are still made where and like they have been for years
While the vast majority of complaints center around the LA & LT 100
series, there are other models with troubles. Note that all
complaints are recent, not in the past. Also note how many people say
JD customer service ignore their problems. Then check other brands of
mowers recent complaints and compare the numbers to JD's. JD quality
sucks and their product supporters are relying on past experience
rather than current experience.
All I can say is; I've had good experience. Parts are high, I've never
used customer service, could suck, maybe not, doubt I'll ever find
I do like that they put the parts catalog online with drawings, so I
can pick my own parts. The one I have right now is a 2002 GT235, it
looks nearly like my neighbors 2008 X300. the biggest problem I have
is, people keep offering me deals I can't turn down, & trade me out of
them. I have had a 330 diesel, traded for a crane, & a 165 Hydro, sold
for nearly double my investment. I also have had a Craftsman, steering
went, an MTD steering went out, I still have a Cub Cadet, which runs
ok, but you can't get the rear wheels off the axle, been rusted fast
for a long time. The trans went out, & I had to take the new Trans
apart to include the old axles with wheels still attached in the swap.
So I didn't come to this decision accidentally, I've earned my
stripes. John Deere's lawn tractors may suck, but they suck much less
than anything else out there. I'm not a tractor snob, I just don't
want to allow the time to fight something that is supposed to make my
On the Lawn and Garden Tractor forums they say that they are both made my
APY Industries. A lot of the accessories are the same (Craftsman to Husk).
Two years ago I had to make the same decision and after the comparisons I
went back to Craftsman, which I had had in the GT-18 for the past 24 years.
I needed a tractor for the new cabin so it has gone into partial retirement
now that I have the new GS6500. But, that was two year ago and now is now.
So much can change. THis new tractor has some new features but I don't
think that it's built as well.
I am to the point that if it isn't a john Deere I wait for one that
But the things that are no compromise points are: A cast front axle,
more tractors are junked because the steering is worn out than because
the engine is, Lugs on the rear wheels, it becomes impossible to
remove the rear wheels when they are mounted right on the drive axle.
4 gauge wheels on the mower deck, it just works better. The deck
should also be quick release. Also grease fittings, the more the
better. If you get all of that you should get years of service and
I agree about the cast iron front axle. The rest is just a matter of
opinion. I have seen some really cheap John Deere mowers. The only
thing better about a JD is the fact some of the older people only buy
them, therefore resale may be a little higher.
If I only had 1/2 acre, any craftsman will do just as good as any JD
for less money if it is maintained properly.
Sears or MTD are fine for a half acre. High price isn't a guarantee of
longevity, there are some pretty old cheap mowers out there.
Like to pay all out? Get an Ingersoll.
others: * Ariens
* Black & Decker
* Cub Cadet
* John Deere
* White Outdoor
One is as good as another. Most all have Kohler or Briggs and Stratton
and all have about the same lifetime.
Thanks all for the info. Think I'll try to get my 20 year old 30" rider
to last one more season.
One thing I found interesting was the sincere lack of merchandise even
available, with Sears being the exception. Here it is September and in
the N.E. USA plenty more weeks remain of mowing. Then several weeks of
leaves to deal with. Yet Home Depot and Lowe's only stock snow
throwers. Of course once the snow begins to fall all that will be found
will be lawn equipment.
Husqvarna is quality with blowers and chainsaws. Not sure how long
they have ben making mowers though. John Deer and Cadet are good
mower brands. See which brands have authorized local service--you may
need it or parts someday. Sears has been good to me for
Around here in the midwest, Simplicity rules. I have 2 1/4 acre lawns
and 3 acres of commercial, use two 10HP and one 20HP. Did it all with
a 8 HP for about 9 years until the engine got too tired, but am still
using the occasional part from it to keep the rest of the fleet in
operation. The independent dealer service has always been superb.
Haven't seen Simplicity in box stores.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.